Middle class cannot sustain BC Liberal tax policy

Editor: Black Press

The rhetoric is abundant these days about how to achieve economic growth and prosperity in the “best place on Earth.”

There are two schools of thought in B.C. when it comes to fair tax policy.

The Liberals are of the firm belief that the lower the corporate tax rate the better off we will be and the New Democrats want a more balanced approach.

Here are some numbers out of the government’s own public accounts:

In 2001 when the Liberals came to power, corporate taxes, including royalties of various kinds, totalled about 22 per cent of government revenues.

Liberal tax policy has dropped that down to 10 per cent today.

In real dollars that’s about $1 billion less per year. That’s a drop of about 20 per cent. By comparison, we lowly taxpayers are now forking out about $8 billion. An increase of about 60 per cent since 2001.

The HST is another $1.9 billion whack in the pants.

All these various shifts in the tax burden will have an effect on our property tax bills as the province looks at “downloading” opportunities to make up for ever shrinking revenues. Right now the year-over-year increases average about 1.7 per cent. The fly in the ointment now is the B.C. Chamber of Commerce proposal that a “review” of municipal business taxes take place.

This could mean a transfer or shift of up to 24 per cent onto residential property taxpayers.

What benefit could there be in supporting a drop in the disposable income of their customers? Maybe Walt Cobb can answer that one for us.

Perhaps the Liberals can also explain why B.C. is now the leader in job losses in the country.

Why is the minimum wage the same it’s been for the last 10 years? Why are real wages decreasing?

The middle-class taxpayers who pay the bulk of the provincial income tax cannot sustain government entirely on their own.

We must develop a fair and equitable taxation system that benefits all British Columbians and not just a select few.

Richard Vollo

Williams Lake